The John Bills 100: 42

Posted on April 15, 2011

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42: mewithoutYou – ‘Brother, Sister’.

Bands with obvious christian leanings often get a bit of stick in the music world. Sometimes this is completely fair, as the lyrical matter of a lot of these bands can often drown itself in holier than thou preaching, inspiring nothing but apathy and annoyance in the process. mewithoutYou are a band with aforementioned obvious christian leanings, but where a lot of their companions fall over in the process, mwY display their faith through nothing more than a series of utterly compelling metaphors, and ‘Brother, Sister’ is an utterly spellbinding record in the process. ‘Messes of Men’ starts off very simply with a little riff and a repeated melody, but new orchestration is added at every bend building up to an absolutely lush and full sounding thing, that gives me genuine goosebumps at the choral ‘Oh my god’. Its a fantastic opening statement, and the lyrically theme is carried throughout. At times this record comes across as a sort of Fugazi record with poetry on top, and in the process it betters anything Fugazi have done. ‘Wolf Am I (And Shadow)’ is the early highlight, with Weiss’ confused pleading leading it, exclaiming ‘I walk heavy on delicate on ground, oh there I go, showing off again, self impressed by how well I can put myself down’. The album is full of lyrical highlights, and they are undoubtably the most impressive aspect of this record, and you won’t find that being said about a lot of christian bands. The album closes with ‘In a Sweater Poorly Knit’, where all the ideas and orchestration come to a head in a beautiful mess, with the plaintive ‘the trap I set for you seems to have caught my leg instead’ producing the albums best line. By the end of it, Weiss is exclaiming that ‘I do not exist, only you exist’ whilst a bright harp twiddles away underneath. Stunning.

Download: ‘Wolf Am I (And Shadow)’, ‘In a Sweater Poorly Knit’.

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Posted in: John Bills 100